Top 10 Viewed Articles of the Last Year:
Last year I celebrated a year of blogging on WordPress with a round-up of my top 10 viewed articles of the year; I plan to make this an annual occurrence! This celebrates 2 years of blogging on WordPress and 6 years of blogging overall. I’m not the most consistent blogger. My blog doesn’t really focus on any particular theme. But I’m in it for the long haul!
It’s been a crazy year on the blog where traffic exploded due to an hour of midnight writing I did on the film Kony 2012. Due to that, almost all my top posts are related to that, linked from that, or somehow had traffic driven from that. My total views for last year were about 8 times what they were the year before. The power of one article…
So, here are the top 10 viewed articles of the last year:
1. Invisible Children and Joseph Kony - Like it or hate it (there was little middle ground), the film created discussion. I first saw the film just before I went to bed and couldn’t get it out of my head so, I got out of bed and penned a hastily written midnight manifesto with some of the critiques I had. It was one of the 1st critical articles to hit the web and it was called “the most scathing critique”. It led to interview requests from BBC and CBC radio and was linked to on CNN.com and CBC.ca. It was linked to 63 times, including in news sites in Australia and the US, the Dutch Wikipedia page, and generated hundreds of comments, many of which didn’t make it past my screening In one day it generated over 30,000 views. It was phenomenal and a rare instance of an academic’s work entering mainstream.
2. A Letter to North American Evangelicals Regarding Charity and Love - In the original Kony 2012 article, I linked to this article I had written earlier in the year and many people were interested enough to click through and read this letter. It generated it’s own fair share of links and re-posts and, hopefully, generated some deeper thinking about what it means to practice biblical love.
3. A Ugandan (Acholi) Perspective on Joseph Kony and Stop Kony 2012 - After my Kony original article, I had new internet ‘currency’ and viewership – so what to do with it? I asked one of my colleagues who is Acholi, from the affected area in Uganda, and working on researching post-conflict education (because, despite the film, they are in fact post conflict) in Acholiland to answer a few questions in an informal interview. It became quite a popular post and led to him being an invited speaker at a conference in Edmonton and publishing an article about his own experience with the film and conflict in Uganda. This was also the 1st time that my blog featured content from a guest contributor!
4. Reactions to Kony 2012 and Invisible Children: What Next - This was the follow up article to the original Kony 2012 piece and many people were interested in reading more. Though, as studies showed, the interest in the film and Joseph Kony had little staying power, to the point that Invisible Children’s “Cover the Night”, which the film was supposed to build hype for, was a bust – despite the film becoming the most viral video ever.
5. Nick Kristof and His Reoccuring Recentering of Whiteness - I was but one of many who took on Pulitzer prize winning newspaperman Nick Kristof for his unabashed White lens which brings White heroes to save Africa, points to the despair of Africa, and trades in stereotypes and well-worn tropes about poverty, race, and gender. Since I wrote the article… nothing has changed. He still writes painfully bad stories to a White audience that eats up his stories of “over there” and how it’s much worse than “here”.
6. Best Pubs in Toronto: Top 5 Craft Beer Pubs - Who knew, I have influence on where people drink their beer! Since moving to Toronto 3 years ago I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many publicans, brewers, bartenders, industry folk and drinking at many fine establishments. These were my top spots to have a craft beer for the right reasons – to socialize, relax, and ‘keep it real’ – real ale that is!
7. Top Ten Best Canned Beer in Canada - Again, who KNEW?! Canned beer is gaining in popularity for many reasons and, in the process, bucking the myth that good beer only comes in bottles (or casks or kegs). Canada, especially Ontario, has many of its fine craft ales and lagers in cans.
8. El Anatsui - This one cracks the top ten because of the pictures I took of the exhibit that visited Toronto. It was a great exhibit and, despite the ‘No Photography’ sign I couldn’t help myself! This is the only article to be a Top 10 article last year (#7) and also make this year’s list!
9. Mugabe and the White African: An Update - Last year, I wrote an article on the film Mugabe and the White African which was featured as a guest post on Africa is a Country. I decided to do a follow up to think through some more ideas as I was preparing a paper for submission to an academic journal. Turns out, people are really interested in what happened to those poor White farmers and wanted an update on them! I don’t think my article, for the most part, was what they were looking for…
10. Spent Grain Granola Recipe - This one I’m actually kind of proud of. An original recipe, that I MADE!! And it made my top article. When I heard of the idea of using spent grains to make granola, there were so few recipes online. So I just improvised, tweaked things here and there, and came up with what I think is a really tasty recipe that has been one of my most consistent article, drawing readers from Google almost every day.
Here’s to another year of blogging!